The Return Of The Good News-Bad News Bears

So, okay, after a woeful start on the road the Twins have come home and swept Oakland and shutdown a New York club that has been alleged by some to be one of the greatest offensive teams ever assembled.

That’s been impressive. And that’s been entertaining. The Twins have won two one-run games, battled back in four straight, and have been consistently driving in runs with two outs (three two-out RBIs in last night’s win over the Yankees). Tony Batista has a .364 on base percentage. Torii Hunter has eleven RBI and ten runs in ten games.

The bullpen’s also been mostly outstanding, and the defense has been terrific.

For the time being, at least, the decision to keep Juan Castro over Jason Bartlett looks like pure genius.

The most amazing thing about this blip of inspired baseball, however, is that Minnesota has managed to claw its way back to .500 without a single win from Johan Santana or any contribution whatsoever from key offseason acquisition and clean-up hitter Rondell White. The team leader in strikeouts is a 22-year-old middle reliever who hasn’t even logged seven full innings yet.

This is a team, of course, that never quite managed to run on all cylinders last year, and I suppose you have to figure that just when guys like Santana and White start heating up, there’ll be a couple of guys whose production will start falling off. Still, it is sort of comforting that the players we’re still waiting to get going weren’t exactly huge question marks coming into the season.

I still believe this is going to be a pretty good team, and like to think that its performance in the last four games is much more in line with my expectations than the squad that stumbled so badly out of the starting gate.

I also still wish like hell Jim Thome wasn’t wearing a Chicago White Sox uniform.

And, finally, I cannot begin to understand why any National League team would sign Matthew LeCroy. I wish somebody out there would try to explain that to me.